This is the American Massage Therapy Association’s (AMTA) 17th annual National Massage Therapy Awareness Week. In conjunction with the week, Hendricks Regional Health (HRH) is working to inform the community of how massage therapy can help with healing.
Rochelle Copeland, a massage therapist at HRH who is certified at both the national and state level for massage therapy and body work, said the therapy is useful in every department within the hospital. Copeland is one of three therapists in the department, the others being Deb Rosemeyer and Montrea Kite.
Copeland said a main goal is to make a person comfortable, even before the massage starts.
“When I go to work on somebody in the ICU, my first impulse is, ‘Can we just turn some of these things off,’” Copeland said. “It’s loud and that constant noise on a person (affects them). Massage therapy can change (a person’s experience). You connect with somebody. They don’t feel good, they’re in the ICU, and it’s loud. There’s a lot going on. You have to steady yourself so you can step into that space and just connect with them.”
Aimee Ketterer, marketing and communication specialist for HRH, said some people are unaware that massage therapy is an option.
“A lot of people don’t know that we offer massage therapy, and it’s a complementary service,” she said. “There’s no additional charge for it, which is really unusual. I think most hospitals charge if you call in a massage therapist.”
Copeland said HRH also offers it during labor, which also is unconventional.
“Nobody offers free massage during labor,” she said. “Nobody to my knowledge offers massage therapy, period, during labor.”
In July, Leigh Anne Case, who works as a nurse in the pediatric department at HRH, experienced the effects of massage therapy during her labor, which lasted 22 hours.